December 28, 2022 Ali

Insanity #16: US & The Grand Game of Tech Poker With China: “Protect & Promote” – All Chips On or Off The Table?

Calling Out Absurdities & Curating Common Sense for The Greater Good


  • We’ve travelled from Emerging Markets—>Emerging Powers —>Emerging Values, full circle back to “Re-Emerging Great Power Competition”
  • One World & One Super Power Era is a bygone – Two Super Powers compete for “Winning Hearts & Minds” in Few Emerging Worlds
  • Hearts in Global South have been neglected (Latin America), broken (Iraq) & trampled on (Afghanistan) – yet a new Casanova is in town
  • 2023 NEWS: New Emerging World Structure only responds to multi-polarity + interoperability & allergic to Unfettered Singularity
  • Future is all about PRC: not People’s Republic of China PRC: Partnerships (Intl.)+Resources (up/downstream)+Chips (semiconductors)
  • No country can confront the complexity, calamity & costs of Mega Threats alone – or should only depend on One Single Super Power
  • US bans 2nd Largest Economy from global Casino & telling “the croupiers” no more cards + no more “chips” in a High Risk “protect” Poker
  • Yet the global supply chains & the intertwined & interdependent manufacturing hubs – especially EU can’t win without China at the table
  • In 1899 during Philippine American war, Siemens finished building Beijing’s 1st Electric Tram. Historical ties, context & rear mirror view matter
  • To cut table’s legs & to throw “all chips” in air and launch IRA can seriously compromise “allies” & lead to losses for The House at large
  • Mega Threat for Humanity: Climate Crisis & yet only China has put its renewables “chips” where its mouths is – the world must follow suit soon


Staying Sober, Sound & Sensible…


Chipping Away “The Chips” to Checkmate China

Q1: Is the priority to only stall/delay China’s advancement in order to catch up, or to stop China in its tracks all together? What are the ramifications of these two “strategies” for global peace, prosperity & progress, and not only for US-China but ever more for Europe & perhaps for the entire world?

Q2: Aren’t the risks of Chips Collision with China way higher, than a round of constructive bilateral discussions to de-risk & develop global rules of engagement? What if China goes for full indigenization & retaliates by cutting US/EU from up/midstream rare earth supplies? 6G is emerging?!

Q3: 25% of Tesla’s revenues come from China & she dominates the entire mid & downstream of EV batteries supply chain, US Big Banks chase Chinese savers in the fastest growing consumer market, isn’t the desire of decoupling, depriving deterring China delusional?Think Solyndra.


IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) to Promote FDI into US: With Friends Like This…

Q1: During Festive Season EU Leaders should all read, “Who Moved My Cheese?. A great tale about how IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) is now creating a major hole in EU’s industrial cheese wheel. Can EU thrive without affordable energy, its industries packing & heading for US and also to cut/minimize trade ties with China? Can “the cheese wheels” continue to turn? Can EU deal with and face its own inflicted IRA: Imposed Rude Awakening?

Q2:  Is ECB able to print Euros as fast as The Fed prints USD by pumping USD369bn into the IRA – Isn’t the bill’s name “Inflation Reduction Act” an oxymoron?! Have EU Capitals slumbered into a bind as a result?

Q3: If US & Russia were able to collaborate for many years on International Space Agency, why can’t China & US collaborate and develop a cooperation framework, and establish mutual supply guarantees on the Chips/Semiconductors, Rare Earths & the entire value chain of up, mid and downstream?


The Inconvenient Patterns of USSR’s Cold War Mind-Set Appearing in US

Q1: If US wants to really out-compete, outperform & outmaneuver China, can it do so by chipping at China’s growing muscles alone & ignore the home front social spending atrophy, or in process of containing China, even risk the Global South’s Tech/FDI needs as a legitimate “Collateral Damage?”

Q2: Does US face a credible risk in falling into the USSR Cold War Syndrome? While the defense budget balloons & most resources are allocated to a single dept., isn’t US’s infrastructural deficit compared to China today, reminiscent of the gap between US & USSR during the Cold War?

Q3: Meanwhile China is busy not following My Way or Highway” approach, but more of “It’s your highway, I will build your highway, and we trade along the highway”. As such do EU/US need new optics to witness the stark, shouting and salient fifty shades of grey of demand in The Global South; and how their needs matter ever more if they intend to develop inclusive global alliances?


Go South Young Man, Go South: Why Global South’s Needs Are the Real Engine of Growth  

Q1: BRICS are facing challenging times. South Africa starting to resemble Haiti, Brazil 2nd largest supplier of agri-food to the globe is hungry for investments & Amazon is in dire need of care, healing & attention, China is being cut off from semiconductor/chips, Russia in war, & India’s infrastructure deficit as wide as Indian Ocean. Where to find growth?

Q2: Growth depends on S3: Sustainability + Security + Scale. BRICS are not short of scale, security is a key issue, but sustainability is a must. Just think for a minute what would be the broad geo-economic dividends of a Non-Aggression Pact between China, Russia & India?

Q3:  A BRICS’ Collective Circulation of resources, technology, human capital (brains) & capacity to develop infrastructure to ignite a boisterous growth strategy can be a game changer. Imagine: R3 (Rapid Replantation Rollout) in Amazon & 1.4bn trees in a strategic good-will commitment from China or FDI for R3 (Rapid Rollout of Renewables in South Africa), or a PPP (Private Public Partnership) in eradicating/replacing the favelas in Brazil (Bolsa Familia 2.0) with new sustainable pre-fab housing. Are you G-Spotting Young Man? Growth Spotting? Go South…The Global South!


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

Carl Sagan ( A Must Watch Lecture!)



Ali Borhani is the Managing Director of 3Sixty Strategic Advisors Ltd. It is the readers’ responsibility to verify their own facts. The views and opinions expressed  in this article/commentary are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other individual, agency, organization, employer or company.